I published my first Youtube video tutorial on January 10th, 2021. After the first month, I had a handful of videos and about 30 subscribers, many of whom were family and friends trying to support me (thanks Mom!). I expected it would take several years before I reached the 1,000 subscriber mark, which is one of the minimum requirements to enroll in Youtube’s partner program and monetize your channel. But I did it in 53 days!
As I was researching how to grow a Youtube channel, I tried using a tool that many successful Youtubers were recommending. I signed up for VidIQ on February 10th, 2021 and 53 days later (Easter Sunday), my channel hit 1,000 subscribers. These weren’t scam accounts, bots or anything shady like that. They were engaged subscribers who wanted to see more of my content. I had over 3,500 watch hours. My top three videos each had over 10,000 views and I had hundreds of comments where viewers asked good questions which inspired my next videos…. All in just 53 days!
I’m not here to BS you. After getting to 1,000 subscribers, I really asked myself: what made this happen so fast? I realized if I didn’t invest in using VidIQ, I probably wouldn’t have been there. Since getting my 1,000 subscribers, I have registered to become an affiliate of VidIQ because I’m an honest believer in the product. Being an affiliate, I receive a commission if you click on one of the VidIQ links in this article and make a purchase. But…I promise you I’d be writing this post even if I wasn’t an affiliate.
How Did VidIQ Increase My View and Subscribers?
VidIQ is a large collection of tools and resources you can use to improve your audience targeting and other factors that make a Youtube channel successful. I created my channel to provide tutorials on Blender (a powerful and free 3D software program) and other related topics for digital artists. I knew keywords were important but I was doing a lot of guessing on how to target my audience.
When I subscribed to VidIQ, the first tool I started using was the Keyword Assistant. I typed in keywords I wanted to focus on and VidIQ showed related keywords with three different scores next to them. The scores ranked the keywords by search volume and competition from existing videos on that topic.
It then gave me a combined “VidIQ score” which takes both factors into consideration. The VidIQ scores are from 1-100. A higher score means there is less competition and higher search volume for the keyword. This should translate into more people finding your video if it’s using keywords with higher scores.
As I experimented with different keywords, I found most of the ones I was using had scores in the 50-60 range. So I branched out a little. I knew that a current trend in digital art was the use of non-fungible tokens (NFT’s) to sell art. I had some experience creating NFT’s so I typed “NFT” and saw the highest VidIQ score I had seen yet: 83! I also saw several related keywords with scores in the high seventies.
Even though I knew it was a current topic, I wouldn’t have thought to make tutorial videos on NFT’s if I hadn’t realized the level of demand there was for the topic. VidIQ gave me the tools to make sure I was creating content on a topic in demand.
After realizing NFT’s were in-demand and relevant to my target audience, I set out to research the topic in order to make a video I thought would bring value to artists wanting to learn about non-fungible tokens. I created my video, uploaded it and tagged it with the relevant keywords with high VidIQ scores.
The video took off beyond anything I could have imagined. I was ranking on Youtube for several search terms and the traffic was flowing in from searches. After a while, I also began getting traffic from Youtube suggesting my videos to users. I got lots of questions (and some complaints) in the comments which inspired me to create my second and third videos on the topic. In 53 days, those three videos combined had over 45,000 views and 3,600 hours of watch time.
What Else Can VidIQ Do?
In addition to the VidIQ keyword research tools, you get a lot of other useful features with a subscription. Some of them I’ve used and some I am yet to explore.
VidIQ uses a browser (chrome or Firefox) plug-in to interface with your Youtube page. As you’re uploading videos, it suggests keywords. It provides a checklist and “video scorecard” for each video you upload. It adds additional analytics not available on Youtube.
VidIQ allows you to identify competitors in your niche on Youtube. It then compares your channel’s performance with theirs. The number of competitors you can identify depends on which plan you use.
You can enter a search term as a “trend alert” with VidIQ. When a video related to that search term sees explosive growth, you get notifications. This can help lend inspiration for your next video and keep you aware of trending topics related to your channel.
How Much Does VidIQ Cost?
I am writing this article in April of 2021. At this time, there are four pricing plans for VidIQ. There is the basic (free) version with limited functionality. The pro version for $10.00/month is what I began using to get my first 1,000 subscribers.
The Boost Plan is $49.00/month ($39 if billed annually) if you only use it for one channel. They have a 3-channel plan and a 5-channel plan as well. The Boost Plan has additional features but I have not upgraded…..yet. The Boost+ Plan starts at $499/month (wow, I know!) and is a more inclusive coaching package tailored specifically to you and your channel.
So depending on your budget, VidIQ has a variety of pricing plans. The only one I have ever used to date is the Pro Plan.
I didn’t make this up, I genuinely credit a large part of my success to using the keyword research functions of VidIQ. If you have a Youtube channel of any size… especially a small one… this is a tool that can help you grow your channel. That is of course, as long as you’re putting in the work to make quality content.
My main website, brandonsdrawings.com is about digital art. But I’ve created a special page at brandonsdrawings.com/business where I share my experiences and recommendations for growing and monetizing your online audience.